Keywords: in sharkskin
Description: Like all things in life, one can find exceptional examples of Sharkskin Fabric and alas, less than exceptional examples. Sharkskin Fabric first appeared as a Worsted Wool (
Like all things in life, one can find exceptional examples of Sharkskin Fabric and alas, less than exceptional examples.
Sharkskin Fabric first appeared as a Worsted Wool ( http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Wor. ) with a mottled effect. Some versions included silk mixed in to the weave. This is considered a natural Sharkskin fabric and has the amazing property of being lightweight wrinkle free and suitable in almost any climate. Natural Sharkskin, for most of its history was one of the most costly wool fabrics, because of the tight weave/thread count require for the desired effect. One of the noticeable characteristic of very high quality Sharkskin Fabric is a sheen to the overall texture and appearance. Thus the name was coined as to some the sheen looked similar to that of common shark.
Sharkskin Fabric has been used by fine tailors around the world including the tailors of the Bespoke tradition ( http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Bes. ). It’s origins are unclear but the first Sharkskin fabrics appeared after 1771 and the advancement of the machine wool weaving processes. Some early examples of a “Lustered” Worsted Wool appeared in the 1800 in Florence, Italy. Later the process could be found in England and France, primarily as vests.
Sharkskin Fabric has fallen in and out of fashion. In it’s most recognizable era, the 1950s through the mid 1960s was exampled by the Rat Pack ( http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Rat. ) with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop tended towards very high quality Sharkskin Suits. Jack Taylor of Beverly Hills ( http://www.nytimes.com/2 002/03/1. ) made most of the suits that made this look famous using the finest versions of Sharkskin from Italy and South America, particularly the “Royal” product. Members of the Organized Crime members (Italian and Japanese) were also well known for an affinity towards Sharkskin suits, some of high quality, some rather low in quality.
The rather tacky reputation of artificial Sharkskin Fabric began with cheap Rayon versions that had an almost Iridescence radiance. These very cheap shiny examples also made a connection with the arrest and trial of a number of Organized Crime leaders. Newspapers wrote about the “Sharks, in Sharkskin suits”.
In the 1950s the early Rock and Roll and Rockabilly performers used various grades of artificial Sharkskin Jackets and Suits. Elvis Presley was known to wear some rather nice artificial Sharkskin suits in his early career.
Today one can see Sharkskin on a number of Hollywood celebrities. One can judge if this look has a beneficial effect, or not: